Our long-term care news is continually updated from dozens of sources around our industry and the web.

NHC, Consulate, Trilogy CEOs Call For Collaboration From CMS to Overcome Industry Hurdles

Skilled Nursing News (09/01/2022) – While nursing home operators welcome more time to certify temporary nurse aides (TNAs), many believe it’s simply not enough — and must be just the first in a series of steps the federal government has to take — to help revive a seriously depleted workforce from top to bottom.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently granted the sector extension opportunities by way of statewide or county waivers that will only last as long as the public health emergency (PHE) remains in place. Full story »

Warning on staffing minimum: Studying costs won’t matter if pay doesn’t add up

McKnights (08/30/2022) – Cost analysis will be “an important part” of a final report on federal minimum staffing standards, the head of a national study assured nursing home stakeholders Monday.

“I think these cost analyses are really important,“ said Alan White, PhD, principal at Abt Associates, the firm contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to research the agency’s possible staffing mandate. Full story »

Providers Push Back on CMS’s Move to Zero in on Nursing Roles in Minimum Staffing Study

Skilled Nursing News (08/30/2022) – Nursing home providers and industry leaders renewed their pleas this week to federal government officials to consider non-nursing positions in its proposed minimum staffing requirements, perhaps to no avail.

An upcoming study to help determine an appropriate staffing level will squarely focus on nursing staff, specifically registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), according to Abt Associates Principal Alan White, the research firm contracted by CMS to study the issue. Full story »

Parkinson: ‘2023 is going to be a tough year’

McKnights (08/31/2022) – Long-term care leaders are eyeing the next 18 months warily, despite recent victories in the form of better-than-expected Medicare reimbursements for fiscal 2023 and Monday’s partial reprieve on emergency nurse-aide training programs.

The likely end of the public health emergency designation will be the “big test” for the sector, said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living. If it is pulled too soon, more providers may find themselves in financial distress or failure. Full story »

[UPDATED] Nursing Homes Could Have More Time to Certify TNAs Ahead of Looming Deadline

Skilled Nursing News (08/30/2022) – Nursing homes racing to certify hundreds of temporary nurse aides ahead of an Oct. 7 deadline may have some additional time to do so.

The updated Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance, issued on Monday and first reported by Bloomberg Law, provides opportunities for individual facility and statewide or county waivers when barriers to testing and training are apparent.

Those who wish to request a waiver must provide documentation that includes evidence that TNAs were either enrolled or signed up for training or testing, but were unable to be accommodated by that geographic area’s Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). Full story »

Inflation replaces staffing as top concern for many operators: survey

McKnights (08/26/2022) – Eighty-six percent of respondents said rising operating expenses were the most pressing worry facing their organization. That’s up from three months earlier, in NIC’s Wave 41 survey, when 80% of responding organizations said rising operating expenses were their biggest concern.

NIC conducted its Wave 44 survey from July 25 to August 21. Owners and executives of 55 small, medium, and large skilled nursing and senior housing operators took part. Full story »

More Skilled Nursing Providers Fill Care Gaps with Palliative, Hospice Services

Skilled Nursing News (08/25/2022) – More than two years after Covid-19 first hit the United States, more nursing home operators are expanding services for residents, in part to address care gaps exposed by the pandemic.

Palliative and hospice care in particular are two service lines operators are targeting.

Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based National Healthcare Corp. (NHC) acquired outstanding stakes in Caris Healthcare for $38.95 million in June 2021. Marquis Health Consulting Services more recently set to expand its chronic illness support model across the organization, which includes palliative and hospice services. Roughly 75% of its mid-Atlantic facilities, about 25 buildings, have rolled out the chronic illness support program. Full story »

CMS urges states to link accountability, Medicaid funding

McKnights (08/23/2022) – While providers largely agreed with Monday’s new federal call for states to tie increased Medicaid funding to accountability, they remained concerned about what that could mean for nursing homes in states whose daily reimbursement rates have fallen far below the cost of providing quality care.

An informational bulletin issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services early Monday urged states to use their existing Medicaid authority to help drive better health outcomes and improve staff pay, training and retention efforts. The bulletin, however, did not impart any new requirements on states or providers. Full story »